The tunnel was first designed by a senior aerospace engineering student in 1964-65, with the first test run occurring in June 1967. Until 2007, many of the components remained the same as they were as shown in the 1968 tunnel manual
. In 2007 a new 60 Hz, 1780 rpm Marathon Electric motor was installed. The propeller section, which generates the flow, was also rebalanced and the bearings were replaced. The six foot diameter wooden propeller contains six untwisted blades with an airfoil shape similar to a NACA 0012. This 6-blade propeller was originally used to break in engines. The propeller is still attached to an R-2800 aircraft engine nose section which is mounted in the center of the tunnel.